A Russian business has launched the country’s first permitted digital financial asset (DFA) transaction using a foreign currency, the Chinese yuan. The agreement, purportedly the biggest executed under existing Russian DFA legislation, involves issuing tokens backed by commercial debt.
Russian Platform Issues Digital Financial Assets Worth 58 Million Yuan
A regulated business has completed Russia’s first transaction using digital financial assets denominated in foreign currency. The deal involves the issuance of DFAs backed by commercial debt worth 58 million Chinese yuan (about 516 million rubles or $8.26 million).
It was held on a platform created by Lighthouse, recognized by the Bank of Russia in March as one of the “information systems operators” permitted to handle digital financial assets.
Sber, Russia’s biggest bank, and Atomyze, a tokenization service, were both registered as such.
While Russian authorities have been striving to develop a complete legal framework for all virtual assets, including crypto, the legislation “On Digital Financial Assets,” which went into effect in January 2021, governs certain transactions involving coins or tokens with an issuer.
Officials in Moscow now seek to legitimize cryptocurrency payments in cross-border settlements and boost the use of the ruble and partner currencies, such as China, in overseas commerce.
The major motivation is to avoid Western sanctions related to the Ukraine conflict and to diminish Russia’s reliance on the US currency and the euro.
According to Lighthouse, quoted by Russian crypto news site RBC Crypto, the first DFA transaction using foreign money has also become the biggest placement in the country’s market for digital financial assets.
The maturity of the tokens issued is 29 days, and the interest rate is 4%, according to the fintech business, underlining the benefits of DFAs over short-term financing in rubles, which has an annual rate of 9 – 10%.
It further said that DFAs lower the risk of loss from currency changes for issuers.
Denis Iordanidi, General Director of Lighthouse, thinks that the new financial product will allow for low-cost, short-term investments while not competing with the existing bond market, which provides long-term financial investments. According to a November poll, 37% of Russian enterprises are ready to join the DFA market as issuers, according to the research.